If I didn’t love meat so much, I could easily be a vegetarian. I love vegetables of all kinds, and especially fresh vegetables. We eat a wide variety of vegetables, cooked in many different ways, all the time. Maybe my love of all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables stems from growing up in Southern California, where fresh fruit and vegetables are always in abundance. My husband did not grow up eating a wide variety of either, but after 18 years of being together, he has grown to love eating his vegetables too. But then again, he really doesn’t have much choice if he wants to eat. We still have to work on him with his fruits though, but at least he does eat his vegetables. The climates in Southern California and Greece are very similar and are very friendly towards growing a wide variety of vegetables. Zucchini is prolific in both areas.
People often ask me what is my favorite type of food to cook. Because I am a very adventurous eater, I love cooking all kinds of foods. I really enjoy planning “themed” meals the most though. If I am cooking something Southwestern, then I want the whole meal to be Southwestern, or in this case, Greek. When I made my Greek Chicken and Brussels sprouts and barley salad, It Looks Greek to Me, Brussels Sprouts & Barley Salad, I also wanted some kind of Greek vegetables to accompany the rest of the plate. Because I have so many cookbooks, and many different ethnic cookbooks as well, it is real easy for me to just go find something special from my every-growing culinary library. After a delicious researching expedition, I decided to make Kolokythia me skordoke ladi or braised zucchini with garlic and olive oil. This simple and tasty recipe hails from the Greek Island of Corfu. It is full of garlic and full of flavor; two of my favorites.
1 1/2 lbs zucchini, sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
2 TBSP garlic
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dry white wine
salt & pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
1 TBSP Peruvian peppers, optional
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
In a hot skillet, saute the zucchini, garlic, salt & pepper, red pepper flakes and Peruvian peppers in the olive oil for about 5-7 minutes, or until the zucchini has softened a bit. Then add the water and wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and the liquid has evaporated. Mix in the oregano and serve.